The first could mean a special relationship (affinity) and a link to the past (two separate things). However, this would be clearer if the writer had use 'and a link'. If the two are taken together, then the link and affinity to the past would be the nostalgia for a shared past- in retirement, siblings rediscover bonds based on their bonds, whose roots are in the past. The second means that not only are people living longer, but the health problems of old age are starting later, so they enjoy better health for a longer time as well as living longer.
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